Snow covered the ground where three boys were playing. A man asked them, “Would you like to try a race and have the winner receive a prize?”
The boys agreed, and the man told them that his race was to be different. “I will go to the other side of the field,” he explained, “and you will start to run when I give you the signal. The one whose footsteps are the straightest in the snow will be the winner.”
The race began and the first boy kept looking at his feet to see if his steps were straight. The second young man kept looking at his friends to see what they were doing. The third boy ran with his eyes fixed on the man on the other side of the field.
The third boy was the winner, for his footsteps were straight in the snow. He had kept his eyes on the goal ahead of him.
Jesus describes the keys to being a champion in Luke 11:14-28. Would you please pause to read it?
You can be a winner if you are on the right team.
Success includes offence (Luke 11:14-22).
In the latter part of Luke chapter 11 and the first part of chapter 12, we see Jesus’ conflicts rising to new heights. Unable to deny that Jesus had power over demons, his enemies declared He received this power from the ruler of demons—Beelzebub or Satan. Jesus calmly showed how ridiculous this conclusion was.
Baal-zebub is, literally, “the fly god.” Some suppose this god had been one of the medical idols of the Philistines, receiving the title from its imaginary influence over pesky insects, which are said to have infested the nation of Philistia.
The heart of every unconverted sinner is the devil’s palace, where he lives and rules. When Jesus cast out the demon from the mute man in Luke 11, He broke its power over the man—and he spoke. The conversion of a soul to God is Christ’s victory over the devil and His power in that soul, restoring it to liberty and its original purpose.
Good and evil angels exist. Jesus invites us to join His team and become a champion. How will you respond to His invitation? Will you say, “Thanks, but no thanks;” then attempt to battle the forces of evil without Him? Perhaps you have already invited Jesus Christ into your life. We can subtly reject His leadership in our lives by:
Embracing philosophies that emphasize human potential.
Refusing to follow His revealed ways.
Victorious disciples know where their source of strength is—Jesus Christ—and fall behind His leadership.
Success includes defence (Luke 11:23-28).
Jesus describes in Luke 11 the condition of a hypocrite. The house of the human heart is swept from common sins by an insincere confession, a fake repentance or a partial reformation. The house is swept, but it needs to be scrubbed clean. Sweeping takes off only the loose dirt, while the cherished sin that strangles the sinner is untouched. The house is decorated with outer goodness but needs to be furnished with genuine transformation. It was neither surrendered to Christ, nor dwelt in by the Holy Spirit. As a result, wicked spirits enter without any difficulty. They are welcomed—so they dwell, work and rule there.
While the scribes and Pharisees despised the teachings of Jesus, a godly woman admired them along with the wisdom and power with which He spoke. Christ led the woman to a higher consideration—though it is a great privilege to hear the word of God, only those who hear, remember and obey it are truly blessed
Doug Sherman advises, “Application of Scripture is to the Christian what exercise is to the muscle.”
The Lord calls us to read and study the Bible to be encouraged and equipped to fulfill the Great Commandments (to love the Lord and all people) and the Great Commission (to make disciples of all nations). Whenever we read the Bible, it should be with a purpose that coincides with God’s purpose—that we might be conformed to Christ.
We need four ingredients for the Bible to connect with our lives:
The Holy Spirit.
Has Christ done a work in your life? Have you become a follower by accepting Him as your Lord and Saviour? Has He chased demons away that once tormented you?
Our responsibility is to lock the door behind the evil as it leaves. Our best defence is obedience to the Holy Bible. As we practice its principles, the powers of darkness will lose their grip on those entry points that they once enjoyed.
Seal up these entry points against the opposition:
Bitterness and unforgiveness.
Poor stewardship of time and money.
Remember the victory over evil that Jesus Christ has already won. Assert your rights—never again go under when the enemy comes to oppress.
Let us learn from the three boys who raced in the snow toward the man—particularly the boy who focused and ran straight toward the goal.